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A Tale of Two Airplanes

"Once Upon A Time... there were two very special airplanes that lived.... far.... far.... away on a tiny island in the Bering Sea. One was named Rivet Ball and the other was named Rivet Amber. Very few people knew anything about these two planes or the men that flew them. Even family members knew very little. That's because their mission was... TOP SECRET." (some photos and language within are NSFW) [more inside]
posted by kurmbox on Aug 7, 2008 - 18 comments

Solzhenitsyn dead at 89

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has died. ( BBC ) The great author and opponent of totalitarianism lived to see the end of Communism in the Soviet Union and almost everywhere else. He survived WWII as a commander in the Soviet army before being put into gulags where he spent 20 years. He went on to write the Gulag Archipelago and win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.
posted by sien on Aug 3, 2008 - 75 comments

Russian poetry and drama

Early Twentieth Century Russian Drama and From the Ends to the Beginning: A Bilingual Anthology of Russian Poetry are both products of Northwestern University Slavic Department. The former is devoted to Russian theater from the 1890s through the 1930s and focuses on the visual aspect of theater, with images of costumes, set designs and photographs of stagings. The latter is a collection of 250 poems, both in Russian and English translations ranging from the 18th Century to the modern day. There are some amazing images from the history of Russian drama, such as Kazimir Malevich's designs for Victory over the Sun and a quicktime video of actors doing Meyerhold's biomechanical exercises. The Listening Gallery of russianpoetry.net has over 75 recitals of poems, including Vladmir Mayakovsky reading his own And Could You? and a reading of Velimir Khlebnikov's famous Invocation of Laughter.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 19, 2008 - 8 comments

Exiled

The Exile is back. Iconoclastic Moscow-based web-rag The Exile, having recently been shut down by the Russian authorities for its often less-than-complimentary views on all things to do with the motherland, is back, having relocated to Panama. A victory for the spirit of Gonzo.
posted by muggsy1079 on Jul 15, 2008 - 18 comments

KA-BOOM!!!!

The Tunguska Event. A century ago, something exploded over Russia... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 1, 2008 - 22 comments

There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

Russian car magazine "Autoreview" has posted photos of a 1978 Korean Air Lines (KAL) forced landing to accompany an article about the Land Rover Defender pickup that was used to haul equipment at that time. Apparently, Korean Air Lines is not amused (Korean) by this effort to dig up the past. More photos. Via the always awesome Marmot's Hole. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jun 5, 2008 - 13 comments

Heart of a dog

As Moscow changes, so does its population of stray dogs. During Soviet times, Moscow's stray dogs foraged for food and avoided humans, since there wasn't much to be gained from begging. As the city became increasingly affluent, the dogs' behavior changed radically. Some recent adaptations include passive subway begging, observing stoplights, and a food scam called the "come-from-behind ambush." The stray dogs, whose population is estimated at 26,000, have even ceased some of their interpack warfare. Observe the Moscow subway dog here. [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on May 29, 2008 - 26 comments

Griefing comes to First Life

BREAKING NEWS: Kasparov assailed by flying dong. Possible inspiration
posted by thirteenkiller on May 19, 2008 - 83 comments

Canada's Russian Revolution

It stands as one of the more unusual turning points of the Cold War, thanks mostly to the surprise appearance of several naked middle-aged women. Taking The Cure: How a group of British Columbian anarchists inspired democracy in Russia. [more inside]
posted by amyms on May 13, 2008 - 7 comments

Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия

Comrades! Glory once again in the display of Soviet Russian military might at the revitalized May Day Victory Day Parade!
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 11, 2008 - 52 comments

Medvedev Sworn in as new Russian President, names Putin as Prime Minister

Meet the new boss... Same as the old boss.
posted by psmealey on May 7, 2008 - 42 comments

Space, to lick the very fuzzy navel of the heavens

Ever wondered what life is like on the International Space Station? Wonder no more. [more inside]
posted by oxford blue on Apr 25, 2008 - 25 comments

Retro Russia

Soviet Museum has some great retro photography, industrial, postcards, propaganda, "Soviet Union" magazine, aspects of moscow, red army, etc [did I mention erotic too?]. It even has 'Vladimir Putin Favourite Places' (which as far as I can tell, is one place). Set aside some time if this sort of thing interests you.
posted by tellurian on Apr 21, 2008 - 20 comments

Lemon Ades You?

Soviet Lemonade Labels
posted by interrobang on Apr 17, 2008 - 15 comments

Screw it!

In soviet russia... screw drives you! (via)
posted by phrontist on Apr 15, 2008 - 46 comments

Intelligence is Sexy

Hot For Words - a youtube classroom series on etymology taught by Marina, a... hot Russian philologist. Mildly NSFW. [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Apr 1, 2008 - 34 comments

To the library!

Something about the library inspires one to jump.
posted by phrontist on Apr 1, 2008 - 33 comments

Meooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow

Cat + Airplane + Parachute [video]
posted by blue_beetle on Mar 15, 2008 - 59 comments

The Notes of a Japanese prisoner in the USSR

Kiuchi Nobuo - a Japanese airman in World War II, was captured and sent to a prison camp in the Ukraine. He tells his story with drawings.
posted by tellurian on Feb 5, 2008 - 23 comments

Comrade J: What's true in the world of spies and lies?

"My defection was the major failure of the Russian intelligence, probably in all of history," - Sergei Tretyakov, former colonel in the Russian intelligence service and the subject of Comrade J: by Pete Earley. His claims of Russian turned Canadian politicians, Russian scamming of the UN for millions, and of a Russian duped ranking member of the Clinton Administration have been denied, while legal action has frozen plans to sell Comrade J in Canada.
Two contrasting reviews of Comrade J, here and here.
posted by Atreides on Feb 2, 2008 - 14 comments

The Animated Oppa Novy God

18 animators collaborate on a cute little cartoon set to a song by Oppa Novy God, a "festive brass band" from St. Petersburg. (via Bloody Circus of Scary Dolls)
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 28, 2008 - 8 comments

...in my sobriety, behind the old facade

Art Deliverance - Alex Klochkov's gallery of abandonment from the Soviet Union. There's next to no explanation of the photos, unfortunately. Indirectly via Retrospectacle's post about the brain lab.
posted by Wolfdog on Jan 27, 2008 - 13 comments

The Polar Bear Expedition of 1918-1919

"The "American Intervention in Northern Russia, 1918-1919," nicknamed the "Polar Bear Expedition," (wikipedia) was a U.S. military intervention in northern Russia at the end of World War I." The ostensible purpose was to open an Eastern Front following the Russian withdrawal from World War I, but in practice the unit stayed to fight Bolshevism. An archive of the expedition, which gives wonderful insight into early Bolshevik Russia as well as war-weary United States, is online. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jan 25, 2008 - 23 comments

In Soviet Russia, baby makes you!

So we've already learned how babies are made in Germany. But we haven't seen Russia or Israel. Could be NWS if you work with people who don't know where babies come from.
posted by Lord_Pall on Jan 21, 2008 - 31 comments

Love survives after 60 years apart.

After 60 years of separation due to her family being marked as an enemy of the people, and sent off to internal exile a couple who spent only three days together after their marriage have reunited, in an amazing stroke of luck. [more inside]
posted by korej on Jan 18, 2008 - 39 comments

Did Vladimir Putin really turn around Russia's economy?

Did Vladimir Putin really turn around Russia's economy? Washington Post's Fred Hyatt attempts to refute the conventional wisdom that Putin was responsible for Russia's turnaround from the economic instability of the "disastrous" 90s by offering a thorough counter argument to prove that Putin's effect on the economy was just the reverse. [more inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Jan 18, 2008 - 26 comments

Funny Money

Super funny money turning up on the world stage
Along with pranks going on in the gulf this week, some funny stuff going on with US Currency as well - Perhaps part of the explanation of the seemingly endless run on gold?
posted by specialk420 on Jan 13, 2008 - 52 comments

Panthera tigris altaica

The Plight of the Amur Tiger (aka Siberian Tiger), the largest living cat in the world. Only 330-370 are left in the wild, but the situation is showing improvement, and they may even be repopulating previous strongholds in China. China is doing its part to repopulate the species - but for what purpose? The park's director admits the park made money from selling parts of dead tigers and wants China to lift the ban on the trade of tiger parts. They're considering it. Meanwhile, captive tigers are illegally skinned and beheaded, and 5000 tigers are kept in farms.
posted by desjardins on Dec 29, 2007 - 8 comments

Тхундербирдс являются дороге!

Russian cold war bombers - The Tu 95 Bear and Tu 160 Blackjack, based in central Russia, which resumed long range patrols in August.
posted by Artw on Dec 23, 2007 - 52 comments

Cool art russian artists found on livejournal

The livejournal group ru_graphic has been showcasing great artists for years, such as soamo, desmonych, floksystar, malli-ly, olliwander, omie-yomie, zuza1, ya-ya, varka, solntsev-gleb, adul and names.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 19, 2007 - 12 comments

These forum members are more dedicated than us

Some Russian online communities like to take on unusual challenges. Courtesy of English Russia.
posted by Lord_Pall on Dec 17, 2007 - 30 comments

MetroDream

Russos takes photos of Moscow Metro construction. Also of a half-abandoned river port, a cool bridge being put together, and an old underground nuclear submarine base. But mostly of the Metro, behind the scenes. (Don't ask me how he gets access.) [more inside]
posted by parudox on Dec 6, 2007 - 4 comments

6A sells LJ to SUP

Six Apart Announces New Home for LiveJournal: Russia
posted by finite on Dec 3, 2007 - 84 comments

Old Russia again

The Alexander Palace Time Machine. This deep site on pre-revolutionary Russia was not at all unearthed as a result of noting this bit of news today. The site was linked in passing previously this past August, in a post about the exact news the Times is reporting today.
posted by mwhybark on Nov 24, 2007 - 5 comments

Kasparov Detained By Russian Police (check)

Garry Kasparov, chess grandmaster, and presidential opponent to Putin, has just been detained on charges of organizing a protest and resisting arrest. [more inside]
posted by mrzarquon on Nov 24, 2007 - 63 comments

Romani portraits

The Roma Journeys - contemporary photographs of Roma life in Hungary, India, Greece, Romania, France, Russia, and Finland by Joakim Eskildsen. For more photo essays and info on the Roma, see two superb prior posts by plep and taz.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 15, 2007 - 26 comments

Rapture ready, underground

Russian sect says world ends May 2008. And no, you can't borrow their cave. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Nov 15, 2007 - 43 comments

Delmar

In October, Vladimir Putin posthumously awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation to George Koval, who, using the code name Delmar, successfully penetrated the Manhattan Project as an agent for the Soviet Union. But, he wasn't the only one. Some think the award is just a disinformation campaign orchestrated by the Russians.
posted by Xurando on Nov 12, 2007 - 15 comments

Trotsky's Appeal

"Trotsky lived on after Stalin, and to some extent is still alive today, not because young people want the world he wanted: a phantasm that not even he could define. What they want is to be him."
posted by Firas on Nov 11, 2007 - 75 comments

Bolshevik storm the Winter Palace

The Russian Revolution: A Gallery Of Photos
posted by panoptican on Oct 15, 2007 - 27 comments

Travel the world; use less carbon, see the sights. Don't forget the penguin.

9000 miles by ferry, train, bus, bicycle, horse, foot and car. In a bid to reduce his carbon footprint, Joseph Tame swapped 11 hours in a plane from Japan to England for a month-long adventure across Eurasia. Along the way he has a Chinese Imperial Guard hold a penguin, stays in a Mongolian Yurt, experiences a "road" trip or two, misses some trains, and befriends a chipmunk.
posted by Freaky on Oct 15, 2007 - 25 comments

The West Coast connection/U.S.-Latvia Axis of Hate

On July 1st, 26 year old Fiji-native Satender Singh was gay-bashed to death by several Slavic immigrants in Sacramento. [more inside]
posted by daninnj on Oct 9, 2007 - 46 comments

Nightmare at 20,000 feet

Whether it's the Shatner or Lithgow version of the story, it's not something you would want to try and re-enact in real life. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 26, 2007 - 27 comments

Immortal soul prisoned in a house of clay

The Por-Bazhyn Fortress (meaning “clay house” in Tuvan) is believed to have been built in the 8th century CE at the behest of the Uighur kagan Mo-yen-çur. Its remains occupy a 3.5 ha location on a spectacular island location in Lake Tere-Khol in the south west part of the Republic of Tuva. This summer a project to excavate and ultimately preserve the site began [Embedded video] (attracting some notable visitors). Via
posted by Abiezer on Sep 20, 2007 - 9 comments

And *I* thought that it was cool that I got Columbus Day off...

Last Wednesday, residents of the Ulyanovsk province of Russia took the day off work in celebration of their newest holiday, Sex Day.
posted by Afroblanco on Sep 18, 2007 - 42 comments

Space: 1989

Some photo galleries (and youtube video) of Buran, the USSR's space shuttle program (previously) from the 1980's, long since abandoned. Bonus: A comparison between Buran and the US space shuttle. Double Bonus: More on Buran from russianspaceweb.com, which is awesome. Combo breaker: An official page with NASA's take on Buran, (and their photos), frozen in time a decade ago.
posted by dersins on Sep 13, 2007 - 25 comments

Suburban Moscow only seems like outer space

Russians are planning a trip to Mars, but first they want to better understand the psychological and practical issues involved with long, isolated human travel. So the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems will be locking volunteers into a small, closed system for ~500 days. The ESA is collaborating on the so-called Mars500 project. There is a current call out for volunteers which is open until the end of this month. [more inside]
posted by dkg on Sep 6, 2007 - 33 comments

Can I say, "I know, but if I tell you I'll have to kill you"?

Mayor of Siberian town orders his bureaucrats to stop using expressions such as "I don't know", "I can't", "I'm having lunch", and "It's impossible". Not sure if "You have got to be fucking kidding me." or "What the fuck, man? are on his list.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium on Sep 4, 2007 - 16 comments

Railway of Bones

Dead Road - Museum of Communism in the Open. "It was one of the most ambitious projects of the Stalin era, known as the 'railway of bones'. At least 10 people a day died during the four years of its construction [actually 1947-1953], but unlike most of Uncle Joe's grand designs it was never completed and now sits unfinished in the tundra, an icy road to nowhere." The transpolar railway was built by labour camps^ 501 and 503 and construction was stopped after the amnesty following Stalin's death in 1953; 800km, about half, was built. Some sections are currently in operation, but much is abandoned: depot and locomotives in Dolgoe, Dolgoe itself, labour camps, more spectacular decay. (Previously: Norilsk, which was supposed to see an extension of the line.)
posted by parudox on Aug 27, 2007 - 13 comments

"...as a Russian and Chinese-led alliance created to counter US hegemony"

The Shanhai Cooperative Organization. [wiki] When Moscow and Beijing engineered the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) six years ago, I am not sure if they foresaw its emergence as an important actor in the international order. Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia, currently observers, are lobbying hard to get accepted into this club. The US request for membership was rejected two years ago.
posted by delmoi on Aug 23, 2007 - 14 comments

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